2011 David Hirsch Speech at National Archives II (video).
2010 Virtual Book Signing (at Abraham Lincoln Book Shop). December 10 (Part 1) December 10 (Part 2) December 10 (Part 3) December 10 (Part 4)
You can read Abraham Lincoln and the Structure of Reason on different levels:
Enjoyment: Pure enjoyment. The book can be read to enjoy the Lincoln stories. On this level it is not necessary to fully understand the Euclidean process that Lincoln used to compose speeches and writings. It is sufficient to be aware that process exists, and the general effect of the process. You don’t have to like or know any geometry to read this book.
Hint: Relax and enjoy.
Understand Lincoln's Structural Method: A good understanding of Lincoln’s structural method. It takes a little more effort to get a good understanding of Lincoln’s regular structural elements. At the minimum you will need to work through the demarcations in the text, and may want to work through the demarcations in the Appendix. The joy here is that Lincoln himself is teaching you. His own words, and their location, allow you to get inside his head and understand his composition choices. His words come to life.
Hint: 1) Memorize the names of the six elements of a proposition; 2) Memorize the definitions of the six elements; and 3) Understand how the six elements relate to each other.
Internalize the Process: Internalizing the process. Email from a well-known scholar observes that Abraham Lincoln and the Structure of Reason is one of the few books that reads even better the second time through. The third level of understanding, internalizing Lincoln’s structural system, requires work. It may have taken Lincoln a few years to figure out and internalize the system. It took David Hirsch two years to internalize the system, to get to the point where he felt comfortable with the process and could use it without looking back at parts of the book (then in draft format). Using the process means more than just being able to demarcate a Lincoln speech. It means being able to compose your own speeches, presentations and writings using Lincoln’s Euclidean structure.
Hint: Start using the six elements of a proposition to structure your presentations and writings. Be comfortable. You should not have problems with writer’s block, particularly if your proposition is “good”. With experience you should be able to gracefully move from a well structured presentation to poetry.
Purchase Structure of Reason books.
Copyright 2011 by David Hirsch and Dan Van Haften; all rights reserved.